A counter-attacking 58 off just 29 balls by skipper Dinesh Karthik and opener Shubman Gill’s 57-run knock helped Kolkata Knight Riders post 164 for 6 in their IPL match against Kings XI Punjab here on Saturday.
Karthik’s decision to bat first seemed to be backfiring as KKR were struggling at 63 for 3 in the 11th over but he changed the complexion of the innings with a magnificent knock which included eight fours and two sixes.
The KKR captain, who was run out in the last ball of the innings, had some exquisite shots and his placements were brilliant, besides his top-class running between the wicket. His fifty came off just 22 balls.
Young opener Gill contributed a 47-ball 57 which had five fours. The 82-run stand between Karthik and Gill for the fourth wicket was the cornerstone of the KKR innings on a slow and difficult pitch.
KXIP made a comeback in the last two overs which yielded just 18 runs. They conceded 71 runs in the six overs prior to that.
KKR, however, made a disastrous start, losing two wickets for just 25 runs in the powerplay. Rahul Tripathi’s (4) middle stump was sent cartwheeling by Mohammed Shami in the third over while Gill was guilty in the run-out of Nitish Rana (2) in a horrible mix up.
Scoring rate picked up a bit with Eoin Morgan (24), who was promoted to number four, looking for runs. KKR reached to their 50 in the 10th over and 60 for 2 at the halfway mark.
Just as the Gill-Morgan third-wicket stand was looking to grow big, leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi removed the England limited-overs captain who offered a simple catch to Glenn Maxwell at long on.